“There is someone who has come before me, and always someone who will come after me.”
Described as the ‘High Priestess of Harmony,’ whose creative writing has ‘enjoyed exceptional public approbation,’ Xenia Hanusiak enjoys one of the most diverse lives as an innovator. As a curator of ideas, words, festivals, and music, she contributes to the stage, the page and the intervals in between.
As a culture critic, Xenia is published by the London Financial Times, The Log Journal (National Sawdust), Music and Literature, Musical America, Classical Voice North America (USA), South China Post, Arts and International Affairs, Choir and Organ (UK), New Music Box, The Australian, Limelight, and the Sydney Morning Herald, as well as literary and scholarly journals. She writes on music, theater, film, contemporary installation, literature, and ideas.
Xenia is committed to the exchange of ideas and international relations through arts and culture. She believes that cultural narratives promote not simply a greater understanding of the arts but an important cognition of a nation’s values and ways of thinking. Most recently she has been most excited about her roles as a Global Cultural Fellow, Institute of International Relations, University of Edinburgh and as an Artist Incubator at Culture Summit, Abu Dhabi. In 2019, she is a guest speaker at the 9th UNESCO Media Information and Literacy Conference and the Gothenburg Book Fair.
Xenia directs international festivals and curates art projects. In 2018 Songlines for a New World made its world tour debut at Spring Revolution Festival at National Sawdust (New York). Previous projects include: A thousand doors, a thousand windows (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Venice, Boston, Florence, Singapore, Beijing), MADE IN CHINA (Beijing Music Festival), Earth Songs (Korea, Sydney, Melbourne), and The Garden of Joy and Sorrow (Melbourne International Arts Festival). Her current project is In the Shadow of the Kreutzer for the Beethoven 2020 celebrations.
Her body of work as a writer for the stage includes the play "Ward B" (R.E Ross Trust Award), the children’s chorus "Un_labelled" (co-written with Elena Kats-Chernin/Boosey & Hawkes/Young People’s Chorus of New York City), the libretto "A thousand doors, a thousand windows" (Melbourne International Arts Festival, Singapore Arts Festival, Venice Biennale), the music-theatre work "Earth Songs" (Homart Theatre Korea/Sydney/Melbourne Recital Center) and the dramatic vocal monologue ''The MsTaken Identity'' (Adelaide Festival of Arts/Australian String Quartet).
As an operatic soprano, Xenia has given world premiere performances on four continents. Her appearances include the Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Ten Days on the Island festivals (Australia), Aarhus Festival (Denmark), Banff Festival of Arts (Canada), Next Wave Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music Festival (New York), Kennedy Center (Washington), Singapore Arts Festival, Gruppo Aperto Musica Oggi (Florence), Beijing Musica Acoustica, Beijing Music Festival (China) MODAFE Festival (Seoul), The Concert Hall, Esplanade Theatre on The Bay, (Singapore) and the Ljubljana Spring Festival. She has given the country or world premieres of some of the most influential composers of our time including Kaija Saariaho, Esa-Pekka Salonen, John Harbison, Elena Kats-Chernin, Chinese Electronic composer Zhang Xiaofu, and Korean composer Cecilia Heejong Kim.
Xenia holds a PhD in Literature/Creative Writing, a Masters in classical music performance, a Bachelor of Arts degree (theatre and literature), and a Bachelor or Music. She is also an Alumnus of the Eugene O’Neill Critic’s Institute, Banff School of Arts and Creativity (Canada), Corsi Di Perfezionamento Sulla Musica Del Novecento (Italy), Hambidge Residency and others.
She is a committed educator as a Visiting Scholar at the School of Writing, Columbia University (New York), a Writer/Scholar/Artist in residence at Peking University (Beijing), Kookmin University (Korea), a Bundanon Estate Arts resident (Australia) and a Hambidge (USA) fellow recipient. She is a 2019 Eugene O’Neill National Critics’ Institute Fellow (USA), a Churchill Fellow, a State Library of Victoria Creative Fellow, and the inaugural arts recipient of a Boston-Melbourne Fellowship. Her honors and recognitions include the R. E Ross Trust award for playwriting and she remains the only recipient ever awarded multiple citations from three different categories of the Australia Council (Literature, Music, and Theatre). Xenia has held an Australia-China Council Fellowship, two Australian-Korea Foundation awards, an Asialink award, an Ian Potter Award, and multiple Professional Writer’s award from Copyright Australia (CAL).
A sought after speaker, Xenia’s addresses to diverse audiences on cultural engagement, literature, music, and museum practice has offered her opportunities at International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy (United Nations, New York), Boston University, Northeastern University (Boston), Museums Victoria, Non-FictionNow (Melbourne and Reykjavik), Peking University (China), Sang Myung and Kookmin Universities (Korea), the National University of Singapore (Singapore), the Shanghai Institute of Theatre (Shanghai), Monash University, Melbourne University, and Adelaide Universities (Australia), the International Forum for Words and Music at Arizona State University, and Performers Present Symposium at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (Singapore) and La Salle Sia.